Before mediation, you should gather documents that will be helpful to your family law attorney and the family law mediator in preparing the financial portion of your case. Be prepared to provide any of the following documents in your possession, as well as any other documents your divorce attorney may request, including:
- Statements for all asset accounts (bank, retirement, investment, etc.) showing balances as of the date your case was first filed with the court, as well as current balances.
- Statements for all debts (credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc.) showing balances as of the date your case was first filed with the court, as well as current balances.
- Any property appraisals you may have (real estate, jewelry, etc.). Be aware, however, that appraised values for purposes of divorce can differ greatly from appraised values for insurance purposes or real estate assessed values. Depending on your case, you may need to obtain separate appraisals for purposes of your divorce.
- Copies of your most recent tax returns and/or paystubs if child support will be an issue in your case.
- Copies of documents showing stock ownership if that information is not reflected in an investment account statement.
Prior to mediation, you also should prepare yourself by looking at your financial needs – ideally by preparing a rough budget so you can negotiate in an educated manner about issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, apportionment of children’s expenses, property settlement payouts, and the like. These are just a few of the many issues that may arise during your mediation session. Consult your counsel for more details about your particular case.